The Opening to My New Book On Violent Extremism

  For those of you who missed it, the moderates and the murderers of Islam are exposed in my new next book.  Here's the opening:  For years, I dreamt of hijackings on airplanes. In my dreams, men with dark eyes wear raven-black masks and wield sharp weapons. They speak a language I vaguely understand and make plans to strike a passenger. At that moment, I rise from my seat to announce my … [Read more...]

Living True Islam Negates Violent Extremism

My entire life, I've heard this one simple line: write the book you want to read. The trouble is that most people I know didn't want to read about violent behavior. Until now.  But when writing about terrorism, or violent extremism, it's equally important to learn about 'true' Islam. I have spent nearly two decades trying to understand why and how extremists manipulate religion for political and … [Read more...]

Honest Writing Is Daring: Why Write About Violence

The cliche is true. Study something you love to-death and in-depth. Over the years, many people have asked me, "Why do you study violent behavior?" or "Why conflict?" On a lecture tour in Muscat, Oman, I had to tell my audience that studying violence and violent behavior chose me. (By the way, Oman is a beautiful, peaceful Muslim country. You can read more about Oman in my next post.) What you … [Read more...]

The Right To Go To War: Part Three

As her daughter, I’m often amazed at how unwounded my mother is. She would readily admit that ‘war changes everything and everyone.” It changed the way women behaved. The way they planned their day, and how they interacted with one another, choosing carefully their messages and maxims with outsiders. War could leave deep wounds that would never heal, but somehow, it didn’t mark my mother. Or at … [Read more...]

The Right To Go To War: Part Two

Mama trained without wearing the hijab or burqa, the head-to-ankle cloth that hides the contours of a woman’s body. Refusing to cover her hair, Mama reminded me of American woman in jeans, a symbol of the sexual revolution in the 1960s. I remember thinking how bold and sanguine she was while growing up in a country that offered girls few choices. She valued her freedom and refused to be controlled … [Read more...]

The Right To Go To War: Part One

As an immigrant child, I learned about war at home. I listened to stories of countries born out of conflict; women taking up arms for national pride; and the speeches, songs, and scholarship created by women to fight their oppressors. Growing up in Texas, I learned about female fighters from Mama's war stories. As a child, I wanted to know why my mother chose to join the Army; why she rallied for … [Read more...]